Blly Preston

That's the Way God Planned It [2010 Remaster]

Tracks: 16, total time: 53:52, year: 1969, genre: Rock

That's The Way God Planned It (2010 Remaster)
© 1991 Capitol Records Inc.
© 2010 Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/EMI Records Ltd.

Originally Released September 26, 1969 as Apple SAPCOR 9
CD Edition Released November 19, 1991
Japanese Mini LP CD Edition Released July 4, 2005
2010 Remastered CD Edition Released October 25, 2010

AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Billy Preston spent most of the 1960s as a working musician, playing important roles in the bands ofLittle Richard and, later, Ray Charles, and getting some exposureon television shows like Shindig, but he was hardly a householdname. Then he crossed paths with the Beatles, whom he'd known from their early days, and one rooftop concert and the "Get Back" single later, he was among the most famous musicians ever to work with them on a recording. Preston was also the first artist that Apple Records pulled away from another label to sign, buying out his existing contract and four finished songs for an upcoming LP from Capitol Records. Preston finished what became That's the WayGod Planned It, named for the U.K. hit single issued ahead of it,with George Harrison producing and, among others, Eric Clapton playing guitar, Keith Richards on bass, and Ginger Baker on drums.Apple ended up getting a surging, powerful soul record by a young music veteran who they caught just as he was ready ascend to the top of his game. The record reached into a lot of different directions, encompassing songs by Bob Dylan ("She Belongs to Me") and W.C. Handy ("Morning Star") amid its brace of Preston-authoredoriginals, and delving into gospel ("Let Us All Get Together," co-authored with Doris Troy) as well as some funky soul sounds ("What About You?"), much of it soaring passionately ("This Is It") and all of it pretty striking, coming out of the orbit of the Beatles. Some of it was a little derivative, much of "Hey Brother" (one of the existing Capitol tracks) being a topical rewrite of "Hey Joe," but that was balanced out by the album's title track, oneof the best production jobs that Harrison ever delivered; aglowin a swelling gospel-style organ and rippling with bluesy electric guitar, a chorus soaring high over all of that, and Preston's career-defining vocal performance at its center, the song was irresistible. The 1991 CD reissue is augmented by "Through All Times," a very quiet, bluesy leftover from the Capitol sessions, the pounding Ray Charles-produced instrumental B-side "As I Get Older"(co-authored by Preston and Sylvester Stewart), and an earlier, shorter, more traditionally devotional rendition of "That's the Way God Planned It" (which this reviewer prefers) -- they're worththe equivalent of a half-step higher rating. Sadly, the LP neversold the way Apple's management had hoped, although Preston's subsequent appearance at the Concert for Bangladesh and on the resulting album and movie doing "That's the Way God Planned It" reintroduced the song and should have led to resumed promotion and marketing of the original LP; chances are, with any other label, it would have, but by 1971 Apple was turning into a shambles, and sonot nearly as many people got to hear this album as might well have cared to.

[The 2010 reissue of That's The Way God PlannedIt was remastered by the same Abbey Road team who remastered theacclaimed 2009 Beatles reissues and retains the three bonus tracks from the 91 CD and adds the previously unreleased "Something'sGot to Change."] -- Bruce Eder Product Description (1991 Release)
Digitally remastered reissue of the pop-soul legend's 1969 album. Produced by George Harrison and featuring Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Ginger Baker. Includes 3 bonus tracks 'Through All Times', 'As I get Older' & 'That's The Way God Planned It' (previously unreleased alternate version). EMI. 1991. Product Description (2010 Release)
Billy Preston's debut album for Apple Records was his vocal album debut too. Before this Billy was renowned merely as a wizard instrumentalist.Here, his impassioned vocals help create one of the best soul records of the 1960s. Produced by George Harrison, That's The Way...expands Billy's palette of gospel and R&B to embrace rock elements brought in by A-list players Keith Richards, Ginger Baker andEric Clapton.

This Remastered CD includes the three bonus tracks from the 1991 CD plus the previously unreleased 'Something's Got To Change'

* 'Through All Times'

* 'As I Get Older' / an instrumental produced by Ray Charles and the 1970 B-side to Billy's second Apple single, 'All That I've Got (I'm Gonna Give It To You)'

* 'That's The Way God Planned It' / stripped back 'rock' version

* 'Something's Got To Change' / first recorded by Ray Charles in 1967 Details
Contributing artists:\tEric Clapton, George Harrison, Ginger Baker, Keith Richards
Producer:\tAndy Davis (Reissue), George Harrison, Mike Heatley (Reissue), Wayne

Album Notes
Recording information: Abbey Road, London; Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA; Olympic Studios, London.

Audio Remasterers: Steve Rooke; Guy Massey; Paul Hicks.
LinerNote Authors: Derek Taylor; Andy Davis .

This 1969 release inaugurated a new chapter in Billy Preston's career. Earlier in the decade, he'd been the jazz/R&B organ prodigy releasing albums centered on the swinging grooves of his keyboard work. In the late'60s, Preston became part of the Beatles' inner circle, recording and performing with them, and even being proposed for band membership. Famously dubbed the "fifth Beatle," he kicked off his pop-star phase with THAT'S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT.

The album wasreleased on the Beatles' Apple label and featured guitar work from George Harrison. The rest of the session band was none too shabby, either, constituting a full-on supergroup that included KeithRichards, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker. Preston racked up hisfirst pop-chart success with the minor-hit title track's easy blend of gospel, soul, and pop-rock, which provided the template notonly for much of the album, but for the lion's share of Preston's subsequent career.

Industry Reviews
4 stars out of 4 -- [The album reveals] the organist to be an accomplished, spirituallyengaging singer-songwriter.

"...Don't Put Off Tomorrow...What You Can Do Today...", October 28, 2010
By Mark Barry at Reckless Records, London (UK)

Monday 25 October 2010 has seen 14 of the 'Apple' label albums remastered and reissued alongside "Come And Get It" - a first-time-ever label 'Best Of'. This reissue is one of them.

"That's The Way God Planned It" was the first of two outings for long-time friend and sometimes collaborator with The Beatles - American keyboardist and Soul Singer Billy Preston. And along with its superb 1970 follow up LP "Encouraging Words" (see separate review)- it's one of the labels better offerings.

Apple/EMI 5099990824128 breaks down as follows (53:52 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 12 are the LP "That's The Way God Planned It" released 22 August 1969in the UK on Apple SAPCOR 9 (Stereo only) and on Apple/Capitol ST-3359 in the USA.

Tracks 13 to 15 are the 3 bonus tracks given with the 1991 reissue - "Through All Times", "As I Get Older"and "That's The Way God Planned It (Alternative Version)". The writer of "Through All Times" is unknown, "As I Get Older" is an instrumental co-written with Sylvester 'Sly Stone' Stewart and produced by Ray Charles and Eric Clapton plays guitar on the Alternate Take of the Title Track.

Track 16 is a new bonus track forthis 2010 issue - the previously unreleased fully formed song - "Something's Got To Change"

Two UK singles came off the album with one non-album 7" that followed:

1. "That's The Way GodPlanned It" b/w "What About You"
(Released 25 June 1969 in theUK on Apple APPLE 12 - it reached number 11 in July 1969 on theUK pop charts)

2. "Everything's All Right" b/w "I Want To Thank You"
(Released 17 October 1969 in the UK on Apple APPLE 19)

3. "All That I Got (I'm Gonna Give It To You)" b/w "As I GetOlder"
(Released 30 January 1970 in the UK on Apple APPLE 21 -the A-side is on the "Encouraging Words" reissue as a bonus (Track 15), the B-side is Track 14 on here; both songs were non-albumat the time of release)

Noted writer andmusic lover ANDY DAVIS does the new liner notes for the disappointingly weedy 12-page booklet (EMI pushes the boat out again people). But with what little text he has been afforded, Davis does at least fill it with properly informative details - and it's peppered with some very tasty colour photos of Harrison and Preston in the studio. Derek Taylor's original LP sleeve notes are taken off the back cover artwork and placed inside the inner gatefold ofthe card - the collage of 6 black and white photos on the rear sleeve stay on the back.

The cast of musicians involved is impressive - KEITH RICHARDS on Bass, GINGER BAKER on Drums, ERIC CLAPTON and GEORGE HARRISON on Guitars with both MADELINEBELL and DORIS TROY providing beautiful soulful backing vocals (Doris Troy was in fact signed to the label on the strength of herwork here). George Harrison handled all Producing except "Hey Brother" and Keep It To Yourself", which along with the B-side "Through All Times" were done by Wayne Schuler.

Six ofthe 12 are Billy Preston originals with "Hey Brother" (a derivative of "Hey Joe") being co-written with Jesse Kirkland. Three others are co-writes too, this time with soon-to-be label mate DorisTroy - "Everything's All Right", "This Is It" and "Let Us All Get Together Right Now". Which leaves two cover versions - Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me" and "Morning Star" by American Blues founder father W.C. Handy. Unlike some of the other Apple issues, there are no extra tracks via download. But the really big news is the sound...

The same team that handled the much-praised 09/09/09 Beatles remasters have done this - GUY MASSEY, STEVEROOKES, PHIL HICKS and SIMON GIBSON. I always though the initial1991 reissue was dull-as-dishwater soundwise - well not so now because the audio quality here is BEAUTIFUL - a massive improvement. The kick off the drums and vocals is fantastic - the piano intro on "Let Us All Get Together Right Now" is stunning (lyrics above). It makes you reassess a lot of the songs and appreciate moreHarrison's excellent production contributions.

Highlights for me include the wonderfully uptempo "I Want To Thank You" whichfeels like it stepped right out of a 1968 Northern Soul session -and the almost Aretha Franklin gospel vibe of "Let's Us All GetTogether Right Now". The irresistible dancer beat and cautionarylyrics about keeping your trap shut when it comes to matters of love in "Keep It To Yourself" are so Motown - great stuff. But thebest is kept until last. While the initial 3 bonus tracks are ok- not so the newly found "Something's Got To Change" - it's shockingly good. The closest approximation would be "I Want To ThankYou" - the new song is a brass-laden dancer with male backing vocals - and it's that rarest of things, a genuine must-have bonus track.

Niggles - the gatefold card sleeve is nice to look at for sure, but the booklet and overall packaging feel lightweight (what EMI could get away with). The CD should have one of those gauze inner bags to protect it - a problem that no record company seems to want to acknowledge (scuffing and damage). And like so many of the LPs on this erratic vanity label - it's a good record rather than a great one.

To sum up - fans will love it, whilesceptics may have to rethink this underrated LP and artist.

Recommended - especially given the massive improvement in sound quality and that great bonus track.

PS: see also my reviews forother releases in this October 2010 series - Billy Preston's "Encouraging Words" (1970), "Doris Troy" (1970), "Is This What You Want?" by Jackie Lomax (1969) and "James Taylor" (1968)

Don't throw away your vinylLP yet..., October 28, 2010
By James Zinn (Kansas City, MO)

Note: This review has mostly to do with sound quality of the newremastered release rather than the quality of the music itself.

I have been holding out to buy this CD and other Apple recordsreleases (like Badfinger) until a "proper" modern remastering comes out.

Unfortunately I found this new remaster to have lessthan stellar remastering and sound quality. I have owned the original Apple LP since the 1970s.

Don't get me wrong. I was actually excited to buy this newly remastered generation release. I put it into my pretty good car stereo when I left the CD store andit immediately distorted so bad, I had to re-adjust all the audio parameters and it still distorted and was harsh and compressed.Then I put it into my pretty good home stereo and it only slightly improved.

I actually like this album and the bonus tracksare mostly at least as good as the original LP tracks. The alternate take of "That's The Way God Planned It" doesn't add much value. The live version from the "Best Of" CD from the 1980s was better than that (but that was on A&M).

If you care about sound quality, trust me, you will not be able to listen to this "remastered" CD at any kind of volume. It just distorts too much. There is no bottom end, no top end, and the mix is muddy and compressed.No particular instrument or voice stands out, or even sounds asgood as it should.

I can only hope the other newly remasteredApple Records CDs don't sound this harsh, compressed, and distorted. I realize the era this was recorded was the era of compression but that's not a good excuse. Was the original master tape notavailable or had degraded? Was the original mix targeted only for AM radio?

Don't waste your money unless you really want this for the digital age.

REVIEW UPDATE: I have now purchased several other of the newly remastered Apple releases including 3 ofthe Badfinger ones and the Billy Preston "Encouraging Words", and I have concluded that "That's The Way God Planned It" is the poorest sounding one so far. In fact, all the others I've bought have improved on both the original vinyl and the original 1990s CDreleases that I own. Puzzling why this one would be inferior as such.

1.3:44    Do What You Want
2.3:13    I Want to Thank You
3.2:44    Everything's All Right
4.4:09    She Belongs to Me
5.2:41    It Doesn't Matter
6.3:18    Morning Star
7.2:34    Hey Brother
8.2:09    What About You
9.4:07    Let Us All Get Together Right Now
10.2:45    This Is It
11.2:37    Keep It to Yourself
12.5:45    That's the Way God Planned It, Pts. 1-2
13.3:59    Through All Times [*]
14.3:46    As I Get Older [*]
15.4:15    That's the Way God Planned It [*][Alternate Take][AlternativeVersion]
16.2:12    Something's Got to Change [#][*]

Category: rock - Discid: f20c9e10

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